Ask a doctor

What Should I Do if I Go in for a Shave Biopsy and the Mole is Not Completely Removed by a Dermatologist?

Had a suspicious skin growth partially removed (shave biopsy) on Thursday, took the bandage off on Friday and I find out that part of the growth was left on the skin. The dermatologist said I would have to go back for further procedure regardless of whether or not it was cancerous ie excision if cancerous or "freezing it off" if it was benign. I have been rolling this around in my head but cannot figure out why they wouldn't just shave the whole thing off? Thanks.

Doctor Answers (2)

Why should a mole not be completely removed by a shave biopsy

+1

I agree with your assessment. Unless a growth is particularly large, I will almost always do a "biopsy" by shaving off the entire growth. That way, if it is benign, the patient will not have to return for another procedure. Over the years I have had many patients transfer their care to my practice for just that reason!

Web reference: http://www.dorsetstreetdermatology.com/general-dermatology/wart-removal/

South Burlington Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Shave biopsy did not completely remove mole

+1

When a shave biopsy is done, the point is to figure out what it is, and then determine the next steps. Remember, it's a biopsy. So, the entire thing isn't always removed because we always like to preserve as much healthy or potentially healthy skin as possible. Once the lab confirms the diagnosis, a proper next procedure can be determined - further excision, currette, liquid nitrogen, etc.

Las Vegas Dermatologist
4.5 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.

You might also like...